New 'Star Trek: The Motion Picture—Echoes' comic series channels the 1979 film

"Star Trek: The Motion Picture-Echoes" is a five-part comic series that debuts in May 2023.
"Star Trek: The Motion Picture-Echoes" is a five-part comic series that debuts in May 2023. (Image credit: IDW)

Nearly 44 years ago, Trekkies around the globe swooned as the long-delayed silver screen version of their favorite sci-fi offering arrived in theaters.

Director Robert Wise's "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" debuted in December 1979, and its volatile V’ger energy field wreaked galactic havoc. "Star Trek: The Original Series" had been off the air since 1969, and creator Gene Roddenberry was endeavoring for nearly a decade to launch a big-budget Hollywood feature bringing back the TV show’s entire cast.  

When it arrived that Christmastime, "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" scored average reviews with its cerebral plot and long runtime, but since then its reputation has risen in estimation as a smart sci-fi classic, especially as the restored 4K Director’s Edition has beamed on to streaming services for a new generation.

Related: 'Star Trek:' History & effect on space technology

Cover of "Star Trek: The Motion Picture-Echoes."

Cover of "Star Trek: The Motion Picture-Echoes." (Image credit: IDW)

Now, IDW Publishing is returning to that spacey world of bell-bottomed uniforms and regulation disco haircuts in the form of a new five-issue comic book release titled "Star Trek: The Motion Picture—Echoes," which takes place following the Earth-saving events of the 1979 spectacle.

Written by screenwriter, producer, and comic book scribe Marc Guggenheim (CW’s "Arrow," DC's "Legends of Tomorrow," Marvel Comics' "Star Wars: Han Solo & Chewbacca"), then matched with engaging art by Russian illustrator Oleg Chudakov and colors by DC Alonso, this major miniseries project finds the familiar Enterprise crew clashing with their sinister doubles.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture-Echoes

Another cover of "Star Trek: The Motion Picture—Echoes." (Image credit: IDW)

"When everything in life feels like it's moving too fast towards the future, it's always important to step back and revisit where it all came from. And that's exactly what we're doing with this comic focusing on the 'Star Trek: The Motion Picture' time frame," notes series editor Heather Antos. 

"No one knows more about this period in 'Trek' history than Guggenheim, we've learned … and we could think of no one better suited to take Captain Kirk and his crew on this wild adventure," Antos added.  Paired with Chudakov’s energetic, character-driven inks, this is one mission that the crew of the Enterprise soon won't forget. Oh, and did we mention that there are possible easter eggs to some of our other 'Trek' books, too?"

Here’s the official miniseries synopsis:

"Echoes" pits the venerated Captain James T. Kirk and his crew against enemies both terrifying and shockingly familiar! When a space anomaly thrusts a criminal mastermind — pursued by a very determined pilot on a mission — into our universe, the Enterprise must stop them from unintentionally starting a war with the Romulans and unleashing a superweapon of foreign technology into the system. But things get infinitely more complicated when these newcomers to our reality remove their helmets, revealing that they’re doppelgängers of our beloved heroes!

Star Trek: The Motion Picture-Echoes

Another cover of "Star Trek: The Motion Picture—Echoes" (Image credit: IDW)

"Despite watching the occasional fragment of a 'Star Trek' episode here and there with my father, my true introduction was going to see 'Star Trek: The Motion Picture' with my grandparents — I was entranced," said Guggenheim in an IDW press release. 

"I'm thrilled that IDW and Paramount Global have allowed me to revisit that time period, which was so impactful to me and my love of 'Star Trek,' Guggenheim said. "Almost all 'Trek' stories are told from the point of view of the Enterprise crew, but I was interested in telling a story from the perspective of an outsider as a means of recapturing how it felt for me when I first saw 'Star Trek: The Motion Picture.'"

IDW’s "Star Trek: The Motion Picture—Echoes #1" lands in comic book shops and online retailers this May with a variety of variant covers from series illustrator Oleg Chudakov and artists Jake Bartok, Luke Sparrow and Rod Reis.

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Jeff Spry
Contributing Writer

Jeff Spry is an award-winning screenwriter and veteran freelance journalist covering TV, movies, video games, books, and comics. His work has appeared at SYFY Wire, Inverse, Collider, Bleeding Cool and elsewhere. Jeff lives in beautiful Bend, Oregon amid the ponderosa pines, classic muscle cars, a crypt of collector horror comics, and two loyal English Setters.